From the Golden to the Silver Poem
by Andonis Decavalles
All seven essays in this volume are dedicated to the eminent modernist Greek poet, the Nobel laureate of 1979, and his accomplishment. As a poet he has emphatically been the creator and preacher of his unique, lyrical, cultural and ethical Gospel, which his prevalently erotic idiosyncracy derived mostly from the age-old Greek tradition and, more emphatically so, from his origins in the Aegean archipelago, and voiced through his rich, original and extraordinary lyrical gifts.
Surrealism, in its objective to liberate man from rationalism through its allowing the intuitive flow of the unconscious to freely unify and integrate internal and external realities, served him as a decisive impetus and support. In his strong belief, however, that art’s supreme aspiration to to accomplish form, he hardly yielded to automatism. His poetry has always excelled in its ingenious, architectural, structural design due to the “limpidity” of the Greek sunlight as it revealoingly shines on life’s eternal truths. The Greek sun has been enthroned as the supreme ruler in his poetic world, the axis round which everything revolves.
In their analytically dealing with the interpretation of Elytis’s poetry in its stages, these essays have also tried to provide whatever elements from various sources would contribute to the illumination of their message as it rises from the personal to its national and its universal meaning and significance, what places his work at the level of the most select and valuable that modern poetry has given.